Hundreds of people turned out to Anzac Day commemorations around the district, showing their respects for those in service of our country.
Ashburton RSA president Merv Brenton said Anzac’s – Australia New Zealand Army Corps – was the collective name for the brave men and women who signed up with their governments of the time and left our shores to defend on the world stage the right to freedom and peace for their homelands.
‘‘To give us the freedom we experience today, and when watching the news on TV or watching history documentaries from around the world you can see why we call New Zealand ‘Gods own’.
‘‘The cost of this freedom has and still comes at a huge cost, those that gave the ultimate sacrifice of death, those left with debilitating injuries, those with visual scars from war atrocities, and the many with hidden scars, not all wounds bleed and the families left with heavy hearts and sad memories.
‘‘We celebrate Anzac Day in huge numbers right throughout New Zealand and through our sense of pride of their resilience and tenacity we stand here today to celebrate them and give thanks for what they have given us, ‘We will never ever forget them’, whatever the situation.
‘‘As Anzac’,s our soldiers left our shores all those years ago also in a bubble, a bubble of Australian and New Zealand defence personnel, going to sort the world and seek peace for all, but as we know that bubble burst when they made contact with the enemy and many sacrificed life and limb, which is what we remember those brave men and women who gave so much and also to the suffering of those left behind.
‘‘Anzac Day is not only for those involved with WWI and II, it is for all Anzac’s who have given the sacrifices of either time or the ultimate sacrifice of lives in the defence of their countries, in past and current conflicts, that is why on Anzac Day we fly both the NZ and Australian national flags … we were and are still one in defence of the South Pacific.
‘‘Years ago on the battlefields our men and women faced the unknown but knew roughly where the opposition were … modern technology which we also have available to us has created a very different fighting platform.
‘‘We celebrate the lives of all veterans those passed on and those still with us;
‘‘We will never ever forget them.’’